National delivery company, Australia Post, has now taken rival Sendle to court, asserting ownership of the terms ‘post’ and ‘office’.
Sendle, which offers Australia-wide flat-rate parcel delivery charges, was first issued with an infringement notice by Australia Post in 2015 for trademark infringement due to the wording of its slogan, ‘post without the office’.
“Australia Post says customers would get confused by having post and office together in the same tag line, but consumers are a lot smarter than that,” Sendle CEO, James Chin Moody, told The Australian.
“They’re making the case they own the word ‘post’ – they even brought out the Oxford dictionary definition at one stage. But I think it’s showing we’re successful. What we’re doing is creating a service that people want but also is different to everything they don’t want, which is lining up at the post office and all the inconvenience associated with that.”
According to Moody – who is a former CSIRO executive – trademark agency, IP Australia, is now making its determination and could take up to three months to make an adjudication.
“It’s been fascinating to see the amount of support we’ve received,” he added. “A lot of the community is saying ‘why are we spending money on this, as taxpayers?’ That’s a big question that needs to be asked. Our intention as Sendle – we’re trying not to pretend we’re the post office. We’re the complete opposite. In a lot of cases we’re a lot cheaper – we can do it for 40 per cent less on average.”
The latest dispute by Australia Post comes in the wake of the departure of former CEO Ahmed Fahour, who resigned last month.